Capture the most stones to win
Togyzqumalaq (or Togyzkumalak, Toguz qumalaq) is a mancala family game played in Kazakhstan. The rules of Togyzqumalaq were codified in 1949 by Mukhtar Auezov and Kalibek Kuanishbayev. These rules became a basis for tournaments to this day.
The game starts with 9 stones in each hole (otau). The object of the game is to capture more stones than your opponent. Since the game only has 162 stones, capturing 82 is sufficient to accomplish this. Since there is an even number of stones, it is possible for the game to end in a draw, where each player has captured 81.
The player who starts is known as 'Bastaushi' with the second player called 'Kostaushi'.
Players move alternatively, where a move consists of taking stones from a hole on their side and distributing them to the other holes on the board. On a players turn, a player takes all the stones within one of their holes, which is not a tuzdik (see below), and distributes them anticlockwise, one by one, into the following holes. The first stone must be dropped into the hole which was just emptied, unless there was only 1 stone in the hole, in which case this stone is just put into the next hole.
If the last stone falls into a hole on the opponent's side, and this hole then contains an even number of stones, there stones are captured and added to a player's score. If the last stone falls into a hole of the opponent, which then has three stones, the hole is marked as a tuzdik if possible (if it is the stones are captured). There are a few restrictions on creating a tuzdik:
- A player may create only one tuzdik each game
- The last hole of the opponent (9) cannot be turned into a tuzdik
- A tuzdik cannot be made if it is symmetrical (rotationally) to the opponent's one (for instance, if the opponent's fourth hole is a tuzdik, your opponent cannot turn your fourth hole into one). It is permitted to make such a move, but it wont create a tuzdik and therefore wont capture any stones.
The stones that fall into a tuzdik are captured by its owner.
If a player captures more than 81 stones during the game, the game ends and they are the winner. However the game is also over if a player has no moves. In this case the remaining stones on the board which have not been captured are won by the player on whose side they are on. The player with the most is the winner, if there is a tie (81 stones each) then the game is a draw.